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Research Interests

My main field of interest is in Computational Neurodynamics. I am currently looking into:
  • How network stucture affects the dynamical properties of the network. There are various fascinating phenomenon which occur in brains ranging from the overall connectivity to the occurrence of cortical hubs. The question is how to these various structural characteristics affect the functional properties of the brain.

  • Processing sensory information and translating that into motor actions is also of great interest to me. While understanding the complexities and the structure of the brain is very important one question which is still worth investigating is how exactly the the brain processes sensory data and makes decisions. This introduces the integration/segregation problem which to very briefly summarise is simply; how does segregrated information from various sources become integrated into something meaningful. Various theories exist, some assume a hierarchical structure is responsible for the integration while others hypothesize that cortical hubs may be involved. This is clearly a topic which requires further investigation.

Books

My taste for literature seems to swing quite wildly. I tend to get bored of reading a particular type of book. Once I have read a certain type of book for too long I tend to get sick of the style which is locked with that book. Anyway here is a list of some great books that I have really enjoyed:
Title: For Whom The Bell Tolls
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Set during the Spanish Civil War, it follows Robert Jordan who is an american part of the International Brigades. What is especially brilliant about this book is the way Hemingway sets the scene. It's a classic and really worth the read.
Title: Creating Brain-Like Intelligence
Author: Collaboration
This is actually a collection of papers by greats such as Olaf Sporns. It is a bit old so it's relevance may be lost these days but it is still very important to me because it introduced me to the whole question of the embodied brain and this book was one of the reasons I got into the field of Spiking Neural Networks.
Title: Miracle At St.Anna
Author: James McBride
This is still one of my favourite books. It follows the story of a group of African-American soldiers during World War 2. This was one of very few books that managed to surprise me. The story is flawlessly written and it is the only book to this day that I finished in one sitting!
Title: Some of My Best Friends Are White
Author: Ndumiso Ngcobo
As with many things comedy relief is often needed, which is why this book is on the list. It really is a brilliant piece of satire which mocks many racial issues. Most of the jokes will only be understood by South Africans since most of the comedy comes from the writer's experience in South Africa. What I recall most about this book is that nothing should be taken seriously and everything is mocked.

Photography

I enjoy photography, that does not mean I am good at taking photos but every once in a while through sheer luck I manage to take a photo I really like. As a freind of mine as said "There is no such thing as a great photographer only good ones that lie about the amount of photos they take". In that spirit here are some of my favourite shots: